C - Center Nipples Move Freely
Your nipple should move freely in and out of the tunnel without redness or pain. Otherwise, your flange could be too small.
O - Only a Little Areola Tissue Should Be Pulled Into the Tunnel
If your nipple is able to move freely in the tunnel, you may notice a bit of areola pulling into the tunnel with each pump cycle. If there is no areola movement, your flange might be too small. If there is too much movement, it might be too big.
M - Motion of Your Breast is Gentle and Rhythmic
Your breast movement should be gentle with each pump cycle, just like your nipple. This indicates your breasts are receiving proper stimulation for expressing breastmilk.
F - Feels Comfortable Breast Pumping
Your breast pump shouldn't be uncomfortable or cause any pain and tenderness. Discomfort could be caused by the wrong sized pump flange.
Y - Yields Well-Drained Breasts
Your breasts should feel soft and lighter after each pumping session.
During breastfeeding and pumping, the shape and size of your breast and nipple may change. If you start to feel any discomfort or pain with pumping, check the fit or your breast shield/flange. It is possible with the change in the shape or size of your breast/nipple that the breast shield is no longer fitting properly. You should see an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for an assessment of the fit of the breast shield/flange. Also, check with the manufacturer of your breast pump for information on the available sizes of breast shield and flange.
- Georganna Cogburn -
MSHE, RD, LDN, IBCLC, RLC
Possibly! Your breasts may change between the third trimester and after giving birth. Also, your breasts may change through your breast pumping journey, so it's important to regularly check your flange size.
Because the correct breast shield size is important to express milk and maintaining them ensures the effectiveness of your pump, you may qualify for new breast pump supplies through insurance. When you receive resupply items you can update your flange size to maintain the correct fit.